Thursday, September 6, 2012

C2W Stages First Jamaican Writing Camp

C2W Music Limited is set to increase copyright holdings as the company hosts the first Jamaican songwriting camp September 7 – 14, 2012 at the Rockhouse in Negril. The workshop through which the company aims to produce several potential hit songs for export is sure to be music to investor’s ears.  C2W became the first start-up and intellectual property company to be listed on the Jamaica Junior Stock Exchange (JSE) in May of this year.

The camp is timely as global trade in creative goods has more than doubled in eight years, moving from $260.5 billion in 2002 to US$ 559.5 billion in 2010. This supports the philosophy of the regional music publisher to provide a platform to develop and export where possible the superb creativity and talent in the Caribbean.

The company’s revenues are derived from the management of intellectual property rights and as such the focus is currently on enhancing its holdings. The company now boasts a catalogue of over 550 songs, surpassing the 120 songs proposed as the target in the first year of operations in its IPO prospectus. The songwriting camp is being staged to enhance this catalogue, taking the company even closer to its goal of realizing profits of over US$600,000 in 2013.

“Through our songwriting camps, regional songwriters will collaborate with renowned international songwriters to create songs with an international appeal,” explained Ivan Berry, Chief Executive Officer of C2W. “We find that our songwriters are equally as talented as international songwriters, they just haven’t been given the opportunity or platform to shine,” he added.

This song writing camp will see Jamaica’s Strongest One, singer-songwriter Etana joining, Candy Gloster, Mark Cyrus with newly signed Rupert Gayle and Shazelle. A complement of four studio producers, eight songwriters and two executives are will prepare material that appeal to International markets.

“I think some of the best songwriters are within the Caribbean”. Mr. Berry said. He noted that to date Jamaica is clearly at the forefront and has proven that the island can produce world class songwriters. He was however keen to point out that C2W is not only interested in publishing songs geared at Caribbean rhythms. “We are not alienating reggae or soca but our model is to write for the international artiste, we are simply writing for export,” he said.

Berry explained that C2W is committed to fostering the region’s creative talent. “We aren’t a performing rights company where we can find and collect royalties, we are actually developing that songwriter in the same way a management company develops an artiste,” Berry said. The company’s stable of writers currently comprises Shazelle (Trinidadian), Rupert Gayle (Jamaican/Canadian), Candy Gloster and Mark Cyrus from St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Alexander Larcombe and John King from Barbados.

Once composed, the songs are then registered, licensed and marketed globally to some of the music industry's best-known entertainers, television shows and movie directors and advertisers. The songs are given an extra edge, as the writing camps feature a major record or management label or even a major advertising agency. “We’ll bring some of the world’s biggest songwriters and producers to a Caribbean Island and we’ll write for a particular artiste that the label or management company is working with,” Mr. Berry explained. 

Although the songs being produced at the songwriting camp will target a particular artiste, there remain even wider possibilities for the catalogue. Mr. Berry explained the process. “The songs are put on hold for about a month with our partners,” he said. “After that time the songs that are not taken go back into the systems of the publishers involved and those publishers promote the song to anyone and everyone.”

The company earns from multiple revenue streams such as, live performances, album sales and synchronization or adaption for use in video games, movies and advertisements. Mr. Berry also highlighted C2W increased potential for profitability as the company owns not only the copyright but also the master, allowing them to become a one-stop-shop.

Additionally, C2W is working on extending its global reach through several partnerships and is currently in negotiations with one of the world’s largest music publishers to collect royalties in the Caribbean. “Hopefully when that deal comes through publishers from around the world will come and we will be able to publish others in the Caribbean. This is significant as it allows more of the global royalties collected in the Caribbean, to remain in the Caribbean.” Berry said.  He noted that once the deal was finalized, its specifics would be made public.

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